Bhoot Part 1: The Haunted Ship
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Ashutosh Rana
Director: Bhanu Pratap Singh
There is an abandoned ship on the Mumbai shores and the authorities want to get it back in the deep water but that will take some time. Meanwhile, a shipping department officer Prithvi (Vicky Kaushal) gets intrigued to visit its interior and strange things begin to take place. Some of it might have been inspired by his past.
Prithvi is struggling to deal with the deaths of his wife and daughter, and that may look normal from outside but has serious implications. The director, Bhanu Pratap Singh, leaves it to us to connect the dots between Prithvi’s personal life and the sudden developments around him.
Actually, this is tricky to leave the audiences to infer similarities between two situations because traditionally, the Hindi film viewers, have not been trained to take psychological horror on its face value. We tend to favour jump scares as that doesn’t leave much scope for imagination.
Singh treads carefully here as he, at least in the first half, keeps a steady supply of spooky moments. You know, the usual types—somebody walking in the background, doors flying open and glass cracking. Credit must be given, these scenes do have impact.
The trajectory changes when he goes for value addition like putting depth and meaning to the proceedings. It decreases the tempo and eventually makes us wait for the moments of truth, which everyone can predict way before it actually dawns upon us.
Thanks to Kaushal and the screenplay, Bhoot serves the basic demands but it never rises beyond the obvious, which means don’t expect it to reach the subconscious, or an attempt the understand the supernatural and its unique ways.
On second thoughts, it has all the elements of a Vikram Bhatt film, with more intense setting. Ashutosh Rana’s mumbling and quite familiar expressions make you sit and notice Bhoot’s similarities with a Bhatt film, even if you don’t want to acknowledge it in the beginning.
Such tropes also stop Bhoot from attaining the high emotional quotient to become something more than a ghost film.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be entertained. There are scenes, adequately assisted by a frightening background score, which will make you spill the popcorn. But don’t demand more than that.
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